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Further support

The Department for Education has announced further funding for an SEN initiative

The Department for Education has announced that the ES Trust Consortium has been awarded the contract to extend the Early Support initiative to young people and families with children of all ages. The consortium is comprised of 50 voluntary, community and private sector organisations and the objective of the Early Support initiative is to assist parents from the moment their child is diagnosed with a disability or SEN, particularly if they are identified as having severe or complex difficulties.

Sarah Teather MP, Minister for Children and Families, said: “We’re proposing some of the biggest reforms to special educational needs and we’re testing out the best ways of doing this over the next year. But it’s important that children, young people and their families get help and support now, from organisations they trust. That’s why we’re funding and extending programmes that have been successful so far and that parents have told us they value.”

With the current agreement funding the scheme until 2013 - with scope to extend it for a further two years - the remit of the consortium includes the development, delivery and continued upkeep of the Early Support materials, resources and training and adapting them for use with the extended age range. On top of this, the ES Trust Consortium will also aim to develop and deliver key working training, whilst ensuring multi-agency, strategic engagement of the whole sector, including parents, children and young people. They will also ensure parents, children and young people and the professionals who work with them take ownership of Early Support and key working and are able to sustain it beyond the funded period.

Dr Kim Bevan, the new Early Support Director, said: “The Department for Education Green Paper on SEN and Disability identifies Early Support as a key approach to meeting the needs of children, young people and families. Early Support has been successful in the early years - the aim now is to ensure that it informs and supports the development of an integrated model of working with disabled children and young people of all ages and their families.”

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Pie Corbett